5 Signs It’s Time to Invest More in Your Content Marketing

Content marketing is 62% cheaper than outbound marketing, and at the same time, it generates 3 times more leads. This stat perfectly illustrates how effective this type of marketing is, but don’t take it too literally and conclude that it’s OK to be stingy and never pour more money into content. Such an approach could affect the quality of your posts and hurt your business. Here are some red flags which indicate that your content marketing is in need of a financial shot in the arm.

Your content publishing schedule is inconsistent
Content marketing is a long-term strategy, and if you don’t publish posts consistently, your visitors will lose interest and defect to your competitors who maintain a regular publishing schedule. A study has shown that companies that publish more than 16 blog posts a month score 3.5 times more traffic than those that publish less than 4 posts monthly, and you know that more traffic means more conversions, and ultimately, a better bottom line. If you fail to produce unique and fresh content on a regular basis, your blog will come off as unprofessional, and in the meantime, your business will miss out on numerous opportunities to generate traffic and attract new leads. Needless to say, inconsistent publishing will prevent you from establishing yourself as an authority in your industry who always keeps pace with the latest trends. People trust influencers and experts who regularly share their opinions and ideas on their blogs, and it’s a great way of building trust and loyalty. And if your blog is full of gaps, your reputation will suffer. After we’ve made this clear, it’s only fair to admit that producing high-quality, compelling content isn’t a walk in the park. It takes a lot of research, knowledge, and experience to write a blog post that your visitors will actually benefit from, and it’s even more difficult to maintain the same level of quality and publish a couple of posts a week. If you’re struggling to fill your blog with awesome posts that will keep your audience engaged, then you should definitely consider increasing your content marketing budget and hiring a professional content writer or even an agency to make sure that your blog is up and running.
 
Your business is sinking
Great content is the best sales tool in the world. These are the words of Marcus Sheridan, a businessman who cleverly used content marketing to save his pool company which was on the brink of disaster. What’s even more interesting, this was a brick-and-mortar business, and back in 2008 when this story takes place, content marketing still wasn’t a big thing especially for traditional, offline businesses. However, River Pools, the company which Marcus ran with his business partners, was hit hard by the raging global financial crisis of 2007-2008. In an attempt to try and save the day, Marcus took to blogging and decided to answer every single question that the visitors to his website had about fiberglass pools. Ten years later, the River Pools website drives more traffic than any other pool business website globally. So, if you spot signs that your company is going under, don’t waste your time panicking and throwing money on some risky schemes. Instead of that, consider taking out some bad credit loans and invest the money into creating top-notch content that will turn heads, bring an influx of visitors to your website, and turn them into paying customers.

Your search rankings are dropping
Did you know that the top position of the SERPs scores 33% of the traffic? Similarly, the first page of Google search gets 91.5%, which leaves only 8.5% of the traffic share to all other zillion pages. It’s clear that you need to make your way up the Google’s ladder if you want visitors and customers. Besides creating sensational content, there’s something else equally important for skyrocketing your website to the first page of the SERPs – SEO. Search engine optimization is intrinsically connected with content marketing in the sense that they can’t do without each other. Namely, no matter how good and useful your content is, it won’t be able to reach your target audience if it isn’t properly optimized. Many small business and startup owners are reluctant to opt for SEO services because they believe it’s an unnecessary expense that will put an additional financial strain on their already tight budget. This is a misconception which usually costs them more than a well-executed SEO strategy. The amount of money they lose because their website ranks low surpasses the costs of hiring a reliable SEO agency. The thing with search engine optimization is that it’s a time-consuming process and not just a one-time hack that will catapult your rankings overnight. So, basically, if you suspect that you’re not in Google’s good books, you should hire an SEO specialist to fix things. Again, don’t try to reduce costs by some half-baked DIY attempts to improve your rankings, because Google has more than 200 ranking factors, and it’s very easy to make a mistake and be severely punished by getting buried in the search results.

Your audience is silent
If you don’t get any feedback from your audience, you need to rethink your content marketing strategy and change your approach. Maybe your content isn’t engaging, or it doesn’t deal with relevant or trendy topics. Whatever the problem is, you need to check out what your competitors are doing and try to find out what makes their most popular content so great. It’s also a good idea to use social media analytics to find the most shared content, and try to optimize your blog posts and boost their performance. In case that you get negative feedback, don’t even think about deleting it because that’s the worst way of dealing with the situation. You can actually use this as an opportunity to interact with your audience, hear what they have to say, and try to make any necessary improvements. Handling such a delicate matter properly will be great for your PR efforts and your reputation.

Your sales are low
This is a serious sign that you have to do something about your content marketing. The fact that you’re not hitting your sales goals doesn’t mean that your products or services are bad. Many great products can’t stand out from the competition because their marketing isn’t loud enough to be heard through the white noise. Having said that, it’s worth noting that the trick is not to be heard, but to find your way to the right audience that will be interested to hear what you have to say. Many companies fail because their pitch is wasted on a completely wrong audience. If the content you produce doesn’t convert, and yet it brings traffic to your website, the problem lies in the fact that your leads aren’t qualified. To avoid this, you need to create detailed buyer personas and craft your content to fit their needs and solve their problems. Your content has to resonate with them and it’s possible only if you understand your target audience’s pain points and if you address them properly. Otherwise, no matter how informative, helpful, and interesting your content is, it won’t hit the mark. Storytelling is one of the best ways of humanizing your brand and bringing it closer to your audience. But this doesn’t mean that you should be blowing your own horn all the time. Quite the opposite. As David Beebe, former head of content in Marriott, cleverly puts it “Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” So, make sure that your narrative revolves around your prospects in order to hit the emotional chord with them.

If you notice any of the above-mentioned issues, make sure to allocate more money to your content marketing budget.

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